There have been many reports surfacing recently that Apple is planning to make the move to mobile payment processing to cut out the middlemen and their profits. The most reputable report of this came from the Wall Street Journal after interviewing top representatives of the country. While this may be a shock to many of the people who have been long-time users of Apple’s products, the mega-corporation maintains that this has been in the cards for a long time and their hardware and operating systems have been designed to accommodate this move for several generations.Eventually, Apple plans to give its users the ability to accept payments for physical goods in online stores in the same fashion that many people use PayPal. However, they are initially planning to launch for only the iTunes market and App Store to keep that extra 2% to 3% of processing fees in their pocket. While this doesn’t sound like a lot of money, these pennies can add up to several millions of dollars when you multiply it across the many transactions they conduct every year. Once their customers are comfortable using Apple’s platform as their source of payment, they can then make the transition to take on payment moguls such as PayPal and even make a play at the growing mobile payment processing market that also includes giants like Square.
However, there is a lot of risk involved in processing payments, and critics are quick to point these risks out when talking about a company that is center stage. Apple’s track record of getting hacked isn’t exactly the greatest to begin with, but having a whole database of names, addresses, and credit card numbers may be a little too tempting for hackers. Apple is already notorious for making the easiest to hack phones and tablets, so putting that much risk of privacy violation on their own shoulders may not be worth keeping the small amounts of revenue they can gain by processing the payments themselves.
On top of the clear and obvious risks, Apple has also been seeing a sharp drop in popularity over the last year. Many people blame stale products and the lack of any clear vision into future markets, something that up-and-coming hardware player Google seems to be excelling in. With the idea of smartphones and tablets becoming dated and everyone looking to the future, many see this move for Apple into payment processing as a desperate attempt to stay profitable while their product line continues to be devastated by the addition of an onslaught of Android powered devices and cutting-edge technology such as Google Glass that clearly are leading the fight to win the future.